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Do You Know What I Know?

December is Emotional Abuse Awareness Month for Creative Tidal Wave. I have been asked why I chose to feature this and my reason for doing so this particular month. There are many reasons, both personal and business wise. I found during the holidays often folks show their best side but will quickly in the shadows turn and unleash upon victims. It is difficult for emotional abusers, narcissists, and bully types to maintain their “charming” disposition during the holidays without a means of releasing their torment to regain their balance. Also, I wanted people to start a new year with new awareness in hopes to start identifying and getting help for family and friends who might be victims. Abusers need to be identified as well so they, too, can seek help.

Do you know what I know? Well, I do know some ways you can stop the chaos in your head from being a victim of emotional abuse. First though, please seek professional help from a counselor or a life coach. The process towards healing can move faster with professional help.

When the inner voices of your tormentor/abuser play in your head, take a moment to rethink. You are now aware that the things they said to you were to control you and to take your inner power away from you. You know you are not those terrible things. Rewrite the words into a positive. “You are so ugly, no one will ever marry you,” to “I am beautiful both inside and out with a heart full of love and compassion. I will find the person of my dreams someday.” The power of positive thinking is magical.

You did not ask to be abused. This person came into your life by no fault of your own. Now you can chose to move on and consider this a learning experience on how to recognize the words which cause pain. We cannot chose our parents, coworkers, bosses, and family members. Sometimes our friends and significant others change after they have gained our trust. It is okay to walk away. Hard it maybe, but necessary to gain your life and health  back. Change your path’s course. Be brave and take a hike to freedom. 

After you dismiss the abusers from your life, I know it is hard, set boundaries. They will try to win you back over. DO NOT FALL FOR THEIR CHARMING WAYS! You do not need to travel back down their path, rarely do they change.

It’s YOU time!! Rediscover old hobbies. Take time to rediscover you. Emotional abusers instill fear as a means of control. Go out and face your fears, try something new. Healing comes the more time you focus on rebuilding your self esteem and empower yourself. Trying new things! Let out old emotions and illogical fears embedded in your mind by the abuser via the arts. Dance out your anger! Paint out your frustrations! Write a poem about the empowered you. Write a book. Sing songs of happiness and write some about your sadness. Hey, you may have a hit in the making. Country music is full of them. And, Taylor Swift has made a fortunate each time she breaks up with a guy. You just never know so give it a try.

The most important thing is to move forward. Leave the abuser behind you. If you struggle with leaving, get help. Don’t walk on eggs shells any longer. Chose to run in grassy fields free from the torment. Look for local hotlines to call if you need help. Ask friends and other family members to help out. Tell your doctor. Seek help.

If you know someone who is being abused emotional and verbally, please step in to help.

This is part three in a four part series on Emotional Abuse Awareness, the Silent Killer of souls.

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To INFINITY and beyond!!

Got to love Buzz Lightyear. But this time I am not talking Toy Story, I am talking focus. I know your mind races on an infinite journey to nowhere yet everywhere. Tapping back into my Shark Like Focus work again to give solutions for those moments when you cannot find your focus. Here is a simple solution to help you get your thoughts collected from the vast chaos flowing in your mind. It can be done in a variety of ways. You can even get creative after a while developing your own personal methods, the possibilities are endless or should I say… infinite. So, what is this magic which can help you focus?

Infinity sign      Yes, it is just that simple lazy 8 looking symbol. Ok, so I see puzzled faces. Drawing the infinity sign or a lazy 8 helps trigger balance in the brain by engaging both the left and right brain. There actually is a lot of information and scientific stuff on this but you can “Google that” if you want to know the in-depth details. You can air draw this sign. You can be extra creative and get your whole body in motion to do figure 8s. The best is when you are in a boring meeting and need a focus brain boost. You can use your fingers to draw it on the table top or you can get your pen and paper out and doodle them everywhere. Retracing the sign over and over has a meditative like effect on the brain. It is rather magic.

There is a certain path you need to follow to enhance the power of the 8. in the diagram below you see an X, that is the starting point. Move your pen, finger or whatever you choice to use, up towards the left to complete the first loop. Follow the arrow pattern to complete your first ….TO INFINITY AND BEYOND!!!

infinity how to



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Fill the page… will you pass this challenge?

“Fill the page.” Those were the only words spoken by the professor in the first assignment in my first master’s class. In front of me was one of those manila drawing sheets of paper I remember so well from my elementary school years. Surrounding the paper were an assortment of creative goodies I was told I would need for the class. Of course being at artsy sort I went a wee bit over board. I had colored pencils, crayons, glue sticks and a bottle of glue, PostIt notes in assorted colors and patterns, a regular pencil. markers, and  my beloved gummed eraser. Oh. MY. GOSH. So many decisions and no clue what he wants!

If you asked a child back in 1968 to fill a manila sheet of paper, the child would not hesitate. In fact, the child might jump right to coloring and drawing before ever being told what to do. Creativity and excitement of the manila piece of paper and coloring tools was an invitation to indulge in a fantasy moment of wonder. Asking a child in 2015 to do the same assignment anxiety and an endless string of questions will flow. What happened over time?

It is a sad fact that individualism and creativity has been stifled. As adults we have become a society of pleasers, followers, and suck ups. Our ability to creative and dream without judgment or guidance is a thing of the past. And we wonder, why are so many people frustrated and cannot seem to make decisions.

Manila paper is a thing of the past. Very few adults and fewer children than in the past, have drawing tools such as crayons and markers. But you can draw  with anything, even a stick in the dirt if you must. I challenge you to “fill the page.” Discover what is hiding in that creative mind of yours that so wants to come out and play upon the paper. This is a wonderful exercise if you are at a roadblock in your job or life. It might help if you turn on some music to encourage your creativeness to flow upon the paper. You will never know until you try. Stop by the store and grab some crayons or markers. As an adult, there are no rules. You can even buy those scented ones if you want.

I would love to see your “fill the page” challenge results.

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Address the Stress

Apple pie

Apple pie (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Who cannot smile after viewing this picture?

The season is upon us! Finals for the high school and college crowd, the holidays with travel and extended family events, and the ending of another year. You might think I am jumping forward a bit but it is always better to prep for the oncoming season of stressors. We cannot change some events but we can lessen the stress factor. Another reason to reduce the stress is because it is contagious. Yes, your children, your spouse, your employees, and if you teach, your students will feed off your stress. The higher the stress the more it will affect your body. You become grumpy. You lose sleep. You can become depressed. Your immune system lowers its ability to fight illnesses. Your relationships suffer. It is a never-ending cycle of downward issues which build more stress.

Get started now to make this season a less stressful one. If you are a music lover, surround yourself with happy and peppy tunes. If you are a visual sort, surround yourself with color and fun pictures. Never under-estimate the power of the refrigerator gallery. Fill the space with pictures of fun memories and pictures of friends and family. Also fill your pages with doodles. Lots of fun doodles are pleasing to the eye. If you are a kinesthetic sort, have small baskets of hand fidgets to play with. Stress balls are great for such. Carry one in your purse or backpack. Other ways to reduce stress are sucking on mints, chewing gum, and revisiting the childhood favorites, lollipops. Another way is my filling your environment with wonderful smells. Aroma therapy works! Wonderful holiday smells will bring back fond memories. Fill your house will the smell of cinnamon, apple pie, or hot cocoa smells. If those aren’t appealing, go for the fresh pine or bring back the smells of summer such as fresh flowers or a nice ocean breeze. Whatever scent makes you happy, plug it in. Exercise is another wonderful way to reduce stress. Walking helps drain the stress away. Try yoga. Anyone can do it. You do not have to be able to twist and contort your body to receive the benefits of yoga. Meditation is another wonderful destressor.  There are wonderful DVDs and CDs with guided meditations. You can even download them on your phone or Kindle. Please remember to not use medication music or guided ones while driving. I have given you plenty of examples of great ways to reduce the stress.

At your workplace, add some color to enhance the visual needs. Add some calming music if you are allowed. Fill the air with fresh scents of the season. Not only will these additions help you reduce stress it will also enhance the attitudes of your employees and customers.

For kids, get them outside. A cool breeze and fresh air are good for everyone. Play is a great stress reliever. Often we over schedule children during the holiday with parties, sporting events, and family events. We forget they need down time to recoup and unwind. If a child is fussy, when was the last time there was a day when they had nothing scheduled? Find time to fit in family time. There is nothing wrong with lazy days. Not days filled with gaming but days filled with low tech moments to rest the eyes and sensory system. I am certain the universe will survive without the gamer for a day. Keep a record of the fast food meals. Too much junk food stresses the body. Make sure there are veggies and fruit each day. No, I do not care what the food folks say, ketchup is not a vegetable.

Be proactive! Get ahead of the stress by incorporating some of these strategies now instead of reacting. Try to find time for yourself to unwind. It is ok to say no. Keep the stress down so you can enjoy the season more. If you have special ways you reduce stress please share so others can benefit.

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Removing wallpaper exposes true character

Nothing like a home improvement project to draw out the inner character in a person. When unearthing not one layer but 3 layers of old wallpaper it does impact one’s mindset on tackling the task at hand. It wasn’t as stressing to me because curiosity got the best of me about what other choices of wallpaper the former owner had picked. The other options did not prove to be any different from the top bad choice. But the adventure proved to unravel my helper. Now we are in the market for a new toilet because it got busted in a fit of rage. A drywaller will be coming in because someone got a wee bit aggressive trying to remove three layers at one time. And I learned a nice lesson in holding my comments to myself like, “I told you so.” The expression on my face pretty much sufficed for words. Impulsive and impatient people should not take on such a project.

Some of us enjoy the delight in creative ways to tackle a difficult situation. I was very content with the music blaring while I slowly peeled off each layer. I didn’t view it as a job to be handled in a matter of minutes or even hours once the unanticipated two other layers were discovered. Slow and steady wins the race. In this respect, proves to cost one less.

What could I have done differently? Believe me I have asked myself this question. What do you do when you must work on a project, not just a home improvement one, with a person who suddenly shows an inability to handle surprises? One key factor to lowering the stress is to not feed into the “I told you so” mode. That is hard to do when you have issued many unheeded warnings. Calming music would have been a better choice than the fast paced rock I so enjoy during a tough project. Sometimes we need to yield to the other person’s needs if we see things are getting out of hand. As well as reducing the thrills of finding multiple layers of wonder which only stressed him out more. In business or in the classroom we must remember if that when more than one is involved in gaining an outcome that we need to focus on the needs of the stressed out one. The end result can be less desirable if we do not lower the stress factor which can influence all parties involved plus delaying the outcome of the project.

As for the bathroom, I do believe there will be more blogs to come on this adventure, LOL!!

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Sweet tea, watermelons, potato salad, and bar-b-que with a dash of fireworks!

Fireworks, friends, family, fellowship, and food, what an awesome way to celebrate!  Nothing like the  Fourth of July in the south! It is a sensory delight to the eyes, ears, and taste buds. It is a day of colorful flags,parades, loud music, outdoor games, and lots of friends and family around to enjoy the festivities. A time to let off steam and truly enjoy a day of freedom to do in whatever fashion and tradition has been passed on over the years.

We all need more Fourth of July’s in our lives. Time to unwind with those we enjoy. Holidays can be overwhelming but they are the foundation of our culture which defines who we are and where we have come from. Find pleasure and pride in the prep, the excitement in the moment of the event, and in the closure. Cleaning up can be just as rewarding if you focus on the memories. Find the positive and the memories, dwell there so they will be “on file” for those moments when life gets frustrating. Laughter is a great stress reliever as well as an “upper”Image when times are tough. May your Fourth be filled with happy memories for many tomorrows.

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